Trump wants US to buy Greenland

Greenland has been melting faster in the last decade and this summer, it has seen two of the biggest melts on record since 2012. (AP)
Updated 17 August 2019

Trump wants US to buy Greenland

  • Donald Trump has been curious about the area’s natural resources and geopolitical relevance
  • Some Trump advisers say acquiring Greenland, which is northeast of Canada, could be good for the US

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is asking advisers if it is possible for the US to buy Greenland, according to a report.
Trump has expressed interest in the self-governing part of Denmark — which is mostly covered in ice — asking advisers if it is possible for the US to acquire the territory, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing people familiar with the discussions.
The president has been curious about the area’s natural resources and geopolitical relevance, the paper reported.
Greenland is a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonized the 772,000 square-mile (two-million square kilometer) island in the 18th century, and is home to nearly 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.
There was no official comment from the White House, and the Danish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.
Some Trump advisers say acquiring Greenland, which is northeast of Canada, could be good for the US, while others called it only a “fleeting fascination” from the president, The Wall Street Journal said.
Others outside the White House say Trump’s interest could be a desire to secure a legacy achievement, the paper reported, and advisers wondered about the potential for research or greater military clout for the US.
The US’s northern-most military base, Thule Air Base, has been located on Greenland for decades.
But Greenland doesn’t quite live up to its lush name — 85 percent of the island is covered by a 1.9-mile-thick (three-kilometer) ice sheet that contains 10 percent of the world’s fresh water.
The world’s largest island has suffered from climate change, scientists say, becoming a giant melting icicle that threatens to submerge the world’s coastal areas one day.
July saw unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet, with 12 billion tons of ice flowing into the sea.
Trump, who in 2017 withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement to cap global warming levels, is reportedly set to visit Copenhagen in September.
This isn’t the first time the president has expressed interest in foreign properties — he has said North Korea’s “great beaches” would make ideal locations for condos.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.